CHICAGO—December 8, 2009— In February of 2009, Performance Trust Investment Advisors, LLC developed and launched a website, www.MarktoMarketDebate.com, to help bring mark-to-market accounting issues to the forefront of public attention in the financial industry. Recently, it was selected from among 500 entries worldwide as the winner of the Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award.
The Summit International Awards recognize organizations that produce outstanding marketing, advertising, design and interactive communications. More than 50 countries are represented in the 16-year-old award competition.
Performance Trust turned to the Chicago-based interactive agency Marcel Media to build MarktoMarketDebate.com. Featuring an interactive video library, the website served as a virtual forum to discuss how mark-to-market and related accounting and bank regulations were hurting bank lending during the height of the global credit crunch.
In addition to the website, Marcel Media set up a branded YouTube channel that featured videos outlining the debate in layman's terms, as well as a LinkedIn group and a Twitter profile that delivered more than 500 followers including the Obama Presidential Campaign, the Financial Times and WSJ Online.
This initiative culminated in the testimony to Congress by Rich Berg, Chief Executive Officer of Performance Trust Investment Advisors, concerning the much-needed modifications to accounting regulations. Heightened public awareness of the issues led the Financial Accounting Standards Board to issue new guidance in April for fair value accounting rules.
"Many initially thought the mark-to-market issue was only an arcane accounting rule,” said Berg. “However, these rules were forcing banks to take excessive write-downs on their assets, destroying capital and the ability to lend. We are proud of the role our communications played in bringing these issues to light, resulting in Congressional hearings and the Financial Accounting Standards Board's decision to revise the rules to allow these assets to be accurately valued."
Following the success of the Mark-to-Market Debate website, Performance Trust Investment Advisors and Marcel Media have launched a second website, www.TheRatingsDebate.com, which discusses the issues with the current ratings system, while proposing potential solutions to those issues.
About The Performance Trust Companies
The Performance Trust Companies are an SEC-registered investment advisor and FINRA regulated broker\dealer, with proprietary investment methodologies and products designed to accomplish investment objectives. Based in Chicago, Performance Trust focuses on educating fixed income investment professionals and assisting client institutions to invest through total return. For more information, go to www.performancetrust.com.